CEDAR RAPIDS | It was nothing more than talk.
Cole Welter, Landon Williams, Brett Yonkovic and Ryan Fank barely knew each other when they moved into an apartment together at Wartburg College.
Williams, brash and confident, made a bold statement to his roommates.
"We were like, 'This freshman class has the credentials to win four in a row,'" Williams recalls. "It had never been done and that has been the goal ever since."
Saturday, four years after that bold statement, the freshman roommates saw it come true as Wartburg claimed its fourth consecutive NCAA Division III wrestling national championship at the U.S. Cellular Center.
The Knights had three wrestlers win individual championships, including Welter and Williams, and six total All-Americans as they became the first Division III program to win four in a row. It was also Wartburg's 11th national championship, matching long-time rival Augsburg in that department.
"Landon Williams right away comes in and calls us the dynasty," Welter remembers of one of his first meetings with his roommate. "That was from day one. We've got this huge picture ... and it is right in our living room and it's of the dynasty symbol.
"Us four, me, Ryan Fank, Brett Yonkovic and Landon ... we kind of became a posse and we called ourselves 'the dynasty.' Honestly, did we know it was going to happen? ... but we knew we were coming to a place where it could happen."
Actually, "The Dynasty" was part of eight national championships as the Knights also won four NWCA National Dual titles.
Wartburg had the title clinched after the afternoon placing matches and gave first-year head coach Eric Keller his own championship after taking over for Jim Miller, who won 10 of them before retiring after last season.
"It is real special," Keller said. "Any time you make history there is a reason why it is history because it is real hard to do."
Keller credits a group of seniors, including seven who competed this week at the NCAAs, for leading the program to unprecedented heights.
"If you think about what this senior group has been through," Keller said. "You take ... like last year going through with Milboy's (Miller) last year, I know I felt pressure. We had to win. These guys didn't, it didn't phase them and they got it done.
"This year, I've worked really hard at not having it being a pressure thing where it is Keller's first year and we've got to win it. Yeah, there is probably a certain amount of pressure that goes with that and you throw in the chance to make history ... They didn't let it bother them as they rose to the occasion every time."
Kenny Anderson was the Knights' other individual national champion as he became just the 14th wrestler in Division III to win three national titles. Anderson joined that elite group with his dramatic, 4-2 sudden victory over Alex Gomez of Ithaca in the 133-pound final.
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Anderson had to score a reversal and ride Gomez out for the final 48 seconds of regulation to force overtime and hit Gomez with a blast double with 31 seconds left to win individual title No. 3.
"Overtime ... that is all heart," Anderson said. "When you are in overtime you can throw skill out the window, conditioning, too, because it is all heart."
Anderson finished his career 79-3 and joined two other Wartburg alumni -- Dustin Hinschberger and Byron Tate -- as three-champions.
Anderson's feat comes from a kid who four years ago was back home in Billerca, Mass., washing buses and not attending school.
"I was just dreaming basically and these guys gave me a shot. I'm really lucky, " he said.
Welter's title came next at 165 and it capped an incredible wrestling career that spans back to his days at Don Bosco of Gilbertville.
Welter scored two third-period takedowns to pull away from Washington and Jefferson's Nicholas Carr and win 5-3.
That gave him his first individual title as a collegian, and if you add up all the championships Welter won as a prep and collegian it would equal 20 -- four traditional and dual titles with Bosco, as well as three individual state championships, and then eight with the Knights, capped by yet another individual win.
"I don't know if I could cap a career off any better than this," Welter said. "It has been an awesome weekend, an awesome career and a very awesome year."
Williams' second title came in dominant fashion as he scored a takedown 58 seconds in and proceeded to tilt Waynesburg's Anthony Bonaventura three times for back points, the final turn ending with a fall in 2 minutes, 47 seconds.
Two years removed from winning a national title at 165, and a year removed from finishing fourth at 174, Williams was motivated to get back on top of the podium.
"I said after I got fourth ... I told myself I would not watch another national championship in the stands," Williams said. "I worked ... that whole year that drove me and I would set individual goals through the year to keep it fresh on my mind and to make it fun."
Wartburg nearly had a fourth champion, but Fank, the Independence native, dropped a 4-1 decision to James Buss of Loras in the heavyweight final.
The Knights also had Gilberto Camacho finish fifth at 125 and Puna Soriano seventh at 197.